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Terror suspect eyed in killing of Filipino soldier

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 10, 2013 at 7:32 am •  Published: April 10, 2013

Baco, who uses the nom de guerre Abu Jihad, is a young militant who has been linked to the Southeast Asian militant network Jemaah Islamiyah, according to Galvez.

Philippine intelligence officials say Baco stayed for years with Abu Sayyaf fighters on southern Jolo island but fled the area after a U.S.-backed airstrike targeting foreign militants killed several extremists in a mountain encampment in February last year.

He was later monitored to have joined Abu Sayyaf fighters in nearby Basilan and on the Zamboanga Peninsula, posing with armed Filipino militants in a picture taken with a cellphone that was later seized by government forces.

The Abu Sayyaf is notorious for deadly bomb attacks, kidnappings for ransom and beheadings and is on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations. Although U.S.-backed Philippine military operations have crippled its capacity to launch terrorist attacks in recent years, the Abu Sayyaf has survived with about 350 armed fighters and remains a serious security threat in the south.